Household appliances running on natural gas are a common thing in suburban homes. However, a lot of people might prefer propane gas as burning as it’s more efficient in this day and age. But why spend your money to replace a fully working appliance when you can just convert it to use propane.
As convenient as it sounds, it can be pretty tricky if you have no idea how to do it. Thankfully, we have specifically discussed all the necessary details that you must know for converting a natural gas range to propane.
Things You Should Know Before Converting a Natural Gas Range
Natural gas and propane consist of different types of gases that tend to have various properties from each other. For example, propane needs to be delivered at very high pressure and contains more energy per cubic foot than natural gas.
Therefore, not all appliances are suited for both of these fossil fuels unless you make some tweaks. They also have different densities and don’t deliver the same amounts of energy. Thus, appliances that run on propane are designed with their chemical properties in mind.
If you choose to replace them with natural gas, without converting them first, it can produce a surprisingly large flame that can be extremely harmful. Similarly, if you want a natural gas range to use propane, you might only see a hint of flame (if any). This is all the more reason to learn the conversion process.
Furthermore, appliances that can run on both include two different ports for either of the fuels. Natural gas orifices tend to be larger for a constant flow of gas at low pressure. On the other hand, propane orifices are smaller due to the gas’ high-pressure requirement.
So, to make sure the device doesn’t malfunction, it’s ideal to install the right port for the corresponding gas. There are some electric appliances such as stoves and water heaters that are only compatible with a certain fuel. It’s virtually impossible to convert those types of appliances.
However, there’s nothing to worry about as most household appliances can be converted easily to use either of these gases. Before you go any further, check the device’s manufacturer’s instructions to make sure if they can sustain the conversion.
How to Convert Indoor Appliances to Propane
The first step for converting any natural gas range to propane is buying a conversion kit. This might be provided with the appliance on the purchase, and can also be bought separately. Make sure to consult the manufacturers when picking a conversion kit.
- First of all, check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that your appliance is suitable for running on propane. It is integral to make sure it’s compatible as they can have serious repercussions otherwise.
- If you have no prior experience with hardware, it’s recommended to consult an expert technician before you go through with the process. They can also give you certain tips to make the task easier.
- This next step is very crucial to ensure your safety. You need to make sure the stove is completely switched off. Afterward, carefully disconnect the stove from the main gas line. Follow the instruction manual to take safety precautions.
- Now to remove the gas burners and fittings. You can easily do so using a metric screwdriver. Detach the screws one by one and remove all the old burners from the appliance. You also need to check if the supply hose needs replacing for safe and optimal performance.
- You might notice that the orifice on the new burner has smaller holes than the old one. This is because propane needs more pressure to flow than natural gas. Attach the burners in their respective positions carefully.
- Different appliances have different BTU ratings, so make sure you attach the right burners. All the burners need to be screwed tight before you turn it on again.
- It’s time to turn it on and see if it works. If everything goes well, you’ll see a gentle flame that can be adjusted at will.
How to Convert a Barbeque Grill to Propane
- The initial step is to disconnect the grill from the main fuel source. Take your while doing so, and make sure it’s not connected to an electrical outlet (if there is one).
- There are different conversion kits for barbeque grills, so you need to check the manufacturer’s instructions. This will tell you exactly which conversion kit to buy. If you’re lucky, they already provided it on purchase.
- Then, with the help of a wrench, remove the old hose from the gas source. You should also detach the hose from the grill completely.
- Attach the new hose to the grill, and tighten it with the wrench. You can also use yellow gas tape to make the seal more secure. The other end of the hose should be attached to the propane tank. Make sure it fits tightly, and check for leaks before you turn it on. Your propane gas grill is ready to use now.
Safety Comes First
Whether you’re a professional or just a DIY fan, it never hurts to take a few safety precautions when working with gas appliances. While most appliances are easily switchable to propane, some models are specifically built for either of the two gases. So trying to convert these appliances would be a fatal error.
Therefore, it’s best to contact the manufacturer to ensure if your stove or grill can be converted to use propane. Also, try to consult a professional who has enough experience with gas appliances to give you useful tips. If you choose to follow their instructions, you might eliminate the chance of an accident.
Always make sure the appliance has been entirely disconnected from the gas source before you start working on it. If the device is connected to an outlet, fiddling with the components can be severely harmful. Even after you have converted it, check each nook and cranny for any chances of gas leaks.
If you find one, wrap it securely with yellow gas tape before proceeding. On the other hand, the conversion process can feel tiresome and unnecessary for some people. For those who aren’t comfortable with going through all that trouble, you can simply buy a propane appliance.
This might cost you more, but all the components will come ready to be installed at once. It will take less of your time and energy, and is certainly more convenient. You won’t have to face any of the safety risks either.
This is all the information you need to safely convert a 36-inch gas range into propane. You might already know that natural gas and propane appliances come with different components. Make sure you study the components beforehand. And remember, safety should be your utmost priority.